8 Crafty Ways to Use Paint Chips

Inspired after walking past those colorful rows of paint chips? Put them to good use with these fun DIY projects.

By Erica Young, Freelance Writer

Three rows of paint swatches arranged in a rainbow pattern

Shutterstock / Evoken

We know you've been there. You walk past the paint section of your local hardware store, and you can't help but stop by the rainbow display of paint chips, even though you're not shopping for paint. (Psst! Step this way for more rainbow delights.) Rows and rows of colorful paper strips, neatly organized and just screaming to be used in a creative project. The best part, of course, is they're free! Simply trim the paint name label off the chips and you're left with thick and brightly colored craft paper. So the next time you hear those happy little cards calling your name, grab a few and use them in one of these crafty DIY ideas.

1. Holiday garland

Create festive holiday garlands by cutting the paint chips into holiday-themed shapes and attach them to a string. For Easter, cut orange paint chips into triangles to make carrots; use green paint chips for their foliage. Or choose pastel colors to make a garland of Easter eggs! Red and green paint chips can be shaped into Christmas trees and candy canes. Use a star punch to cut out red, white, and blue stars for the Fourth of July. The possibilities are endless!

2. Gift tags

No need to buy pricey gift tags when you have paint chips. Cut the paint chips into tag shapes, use a hole punch, and attach a colorful ribbon. Stock up on a variety of colors and you'll be prepared for any gift-giving occasion that comes your way.

3. Wall art

Add a punch of color to your walls, without even painting! Your artistic endeavors are limitless with paint chips. Make modern abstract art by cutting the paint chips into squares and covering a poster board with them using double-sided tape. If you wish, add a meaningful phrase with vinyl lettering. Or take a hole punch to your paint chips to make colorful confetti, then glue the confetti to a white canvas to create a graphic with the colorful dots. Shape the confetti into an animal, the first letter of your child's name, a simple flower shape, or anything that inspires you!

4. Mobile

Your baby will love staring at this colorful mobile, and you'll love that it cost you next to nothing. Start by using a circle punch to cut out circles in your paint chips. Stick to one color family for a cohesive look, or go crazy with a rainbow of colors for a more playful style—there are no rules! Once you have your circles ready, glue them in a row onto several pieces of string. Be sure to sandwich the string between two circles so that only the color sides of the paint chips are exposed. Attach the strings to an embroidery hoop and hang above the crib. P.S. This is a baby-shower showstopper.

5. Framed calendar

Trim the paint chips into perfect squares and glue them onto a piece of paper in rows to form a calendar grid with each square representing a day. Frame the arrangement behind glass. Using a dry erase marker directly on the glass, you can label the calendar with the month, days, and all your important info. When the time comes, wipe the old away and add your new appointments for next month!

6. Wreath

Make a simple yet elegant display for your front door. Cut your paint chips into leaf shapes to make a wreath. A small cookie cutter can work as a stencil. Fold the leaves down the middle to create a crease—this will add dimension and mimic the texture of real leaves. Glue them to a foam wreath form using a hot glue gun, layering the leaves on top of each other as you go. Continue until the entire wreath is covered in leaves. And if all that work leaves you hungry, why not indulge in a fun fall treat?

7. Bookmark

Perhaps the most obvious craft to make with paint chips is a bookmark. (We know you're planning to reread Harry Potter for the thousandth time!) Rectangle-shaped paint chips work best for this. Punch a hole in the top of the paint chip using a hole punch, then add colorful ribbon or a tassel. You're done! Now put it to good use in your latest book; no more tattered receipts or scraps of paper holding your place!

8. Party invitation

Turn those pretty paint chips into colorful party invitations. Trim the chips into a shape that goes along with your party decor, or for an art-themed party use them as-is! Attach two paint chips together using a metal brad, and use the second paint chip to list all of your party info.

Paint chips are more than just a way to choose the perfect paint color. They can be used for all sorts of cute crafts. Don't be afraid to grab a handful at your next hardware store trip, because there's only one thing better than affordable craft supplies—free craft supplies.